Do you ever catch yourself squinting or shielding your eyes from bright lights? Sensitivity to light, also known as photophobia, is a common symptom of dry eye syndrome. Dry eye syndrome happens when your eyes don’t make enough tears or produce low-quality tears, leading to discomfort, irritation, and even vision problems. If you’re dealing with light sensitivity, keep reading to learn how to find relief and improve your eye health. 

1. Use artificial tears 

If you’re experiencing dry eye symptoms like sensitivity to light, using artificial tears can help. These eye drops work like your natural tears, moisturizing your eyes and helping to reduce inflammation and irritation. They can also flush out any debris or bacteria that might be causing dryness and discomfort. You can buy artificial tears at your local pharmacy, or your eye doctor can suggest a brand or type that’s right for you. Be sure to follow the instructions for use carefully and avoid drops with preservatives, as they can irritate your eyes. 

2. Practice good eye hygiene 

To prevent dry eye syndrome, it’s important to keep your eyelids and lashes clean. Use a gentle cleanser or warm compress to get rid of any dirt or bacteria that could cause redness, inflammation, or discomfort. Also, try not to rub your eyes or wear makeup that can clog the tear glands. 

3. Remember to blink often 

If you don’t blink enough, your tears evaporate faster, leading to dryness and discomfort in your eyes. Make it a habit to blink more, especially when you’re using a computer or reading for a long time. Also, try taking short breaks during the day to close your eyes or look away from screens. A great way to prevent eye strain and dryness is to follow the 20-20-20 rule. The rule says that for every 20 minutes of screen time, you should take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away.  

4. Adjust your environment 

Making changes to your environment can help minimize sensitivity to light and other dry eye symptoms. This could mean adjusting the brightness of your computer or phone screen, turning off overhead lights or fluorescent lighting, or even using a humidifier to add moisture to the air, especially if you live in a dry climate. 

5. Wear sunglasses 

When you’re outside, wearing sunglasses can help with light sensitivity. They protect your eyes from harmful UV rays and reduce the amount of direct exposure to bright sunlight. Make sure to pick sunglasses that have 100% UV protection and wraparound frames for full coverage. Our optical has a wide range of sunglasses for sale in Tuscaloosa, Pickens County, and Hale County. Let us help you find the perfect pair for your visual needs, budget, and lifestyle.  

6. Schedule an eye exam 

If you’re experiencing sensitivity to light and other dry eye symptoms, it’s important to schedule an eye exam in Northport, Reform, or Greensboro with our optometrist. Based on the exam results, your doctor can suggest a personalized treatment plan that fits your specific needs. They might recommend artificial tears or other medications to increase tear production or address inflammation of the eyelids or eye surface. For severe cases, they may suggest advanced treatment options like TempSure Envi. This treatment uses radiofrequency technology to gently heat your skin, reducing dryness and discomfort with the additional benefit of minimizing wrinkles and tightening loose skin. 

Dry eye syndrome can seriously impact your day-to-day activities and quality of life. Fortunately, there are several ways to manage and reduce the symptoms. If you’re experiencing sensitivity to light or any other signs of dry eye, reach out to our eye doctors in Northport, Reform, and Greensboro. We offer a range of treatment options to help you maintain healthy eyes, reduce dryness and discomfort, and prevent vision issues. Give us a call today to book an appointment.